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The Millennium Dollar Bash

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Well, the Millennium celebrations actually got off the ground and it looks as though the futuristic pavilion on the Greenwich peninsula may break even after all. But what’s the Millennium all about? As far as Jewish people are concerned this is 5,760 years since God created the world. Muslims and Buddhists have their calendars too, and for Christians it’s 2,000 years since the birth of Jesus. As for the rest, it’s anybody’s guess. Even the planners were in a quandary. They wanted to celebrate 2,000 years; but 2,000 years of what? There was some embarrassment because it appeared they didn’t to want to mention ... well ... you know ...&nbsp;<i>religion</i>. People might be offended if the government talked about Jesus. But, then again, perhaps some of our most eminent people don’t actually understand the significance of Y2K.

At first the movers and shakers thought the Millennium celebrations should be about Time. But judging from the exhibition itself they had to bow to pressure and allow Jesus a space in the Dome and a place at his own birthday party by letting the Archbishop of Canterbury say a few words. But there as more than a grain of truth in saying the Millennium was about Time, because…

Isn’t it about time we started talking about the real meaning of the Millennium?

The Millennium marks 2,000 years since Jesus was born. But he was not mentioned in any of the published plans. Why, did the planners of the celebrations seem embarrassed by the birth of the Carpenter from Nazareth? Whether the planners were religious or not, facts are facts, and the Millennium is a pointer to the fact of the birth of the most famous Jew who ever lived,

Isn’t it about time we all acknowledged the significance of the coming of Jesus?

Jesus made such an impact on world history that his coming changed the calendar. For hundreds of years we have marked history by reckoning the years as BC (Before Christ) or AD - Anno Domini  - (the Year of the Lord). Imagine celebrating Mohammed’s birth without even a mention of the founder of Islam. Or celebrating the battle of Hastings with no reference to William the Conqueror. Or keeping Pesach with no mention of Moses! Just as there was no room in the inn for Jesus at his birth, so there was to be no room for him at his Millennial Birthday Bash.

Isn’t it about time we remembered that man does not live by bread alone?

By only reluctantly making way for Jesus, the Millennium commissione rsseemed to see no further than the potential the event had for making loads of dosh. The irony was exquisite. An event that could not occur but for the Prophet who warned that man “cannot serve God and money”1 seemed to be little more than a money-making exercise. How many more centuries will it be before we take seriously, the question raised by Jesus about what profit there is in gaining the whole world yet losing our very souls.2

Isn’t it about time we faced the fact that our country has rejected God?

For more than 150 years we have been assured that we are evolving towards perfection. In that case why, in the last century of the second millennium, did we have two world wars? Why were six million Jewish people, not to mention gypsies and the mentally retarded, systematically exterminated in the heart of European civilisation? And why are children still not safe on our streets, in their schools or even in their own homes?

We will not solve the country’s problems by electing a London mayor or by voting any party into or out of power. Our social ills are the symptoms of a deep - seated spiritual malaise. As a nation we have rejected God, the Bible, the Ten Commandments and Jesus’ message of love. As a consequence, to use an expression from the Bible, we are reaping what we have sown.3

An event that could not have taken place without Jesus but which keeps him out of the picture reminds us of a prediction by the prophet Isaiah dating back to 700BCE:

“He is despised and rejected by men.”4

The millennium celebration was pretty much our nation’s official rejection of Jesus the Messiah. A nation that says it wants to stamp out anti-Semitism allowed Israel’s greatest son only a token place at his own birthday event by allowing the Archbishop of Canterbury to say a few words. Then, it was on with the show. If God were to turn his back on Britain finally and totally, we would have no one but ourselves to blame.

Isn’t it about time we remembered why Jesus the Messiah came into the world?

In one of his last letters, another great Jewish figure, Saul of Tarsus, wrote: “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Messiah Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief’. In those words there is hope for us all.

Isn’t it about time we acknowledged that in the third millennium we need Jesus more than ever before?

1. Matthew 6:24: “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”

2. Matthew 16:26,27: “For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to His works.”

3. Galatians 6:7,8: “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a mans sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.”

4. Isaiah 53:3. For more on this passage click here

This article has appeared in various publications published by Shalom Ministries

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